Security chief in south Libya town assassinated: ministry

Armed men have murdered a security official in southern Libya, the UN-backed government said Thursday, a day after forces opposed to it said they had entered his town. (AFP)
Updated 21 February 2019
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Security chief in south Libya town assassinated: ministry

  • Libyan media said Kari, a member of the minority Tubu community, was killed when armed men raided his home in Murzuk
  • On Wednesday night, forces loyal to Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar said they had entered and taken control of Murzuk as part of an offensive launched in January

TRIPOLI: Armed men have murdered a security official in southern Libya, the UN-backed government said Thursday, a day after forces opposed to it said they had entered his town.
The interior ministry of the internationally-recognized unity government branded the murder of General Ibrahim Mohamad Kari, security head in the town of Murzuk, a “cowardly crime” and vowed to bring the culprits to justice.
In a brief statement, it said Kari was killed on Wednesday by “an outlawed armed group,” without giving further details.
Authorities “will pursue his murderers and bring them to justice” and “will not remain idle in the face of crimes that threaten the security and stability of the country,” it added.
Libyan media said Kari, a member of the minority Tubu community, was killed when armed men raided his home in Murzuk.
On Wednesday night, forces loyal to Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar said they had entered and taken control of Murzuk as part of an offensive launched in January.
Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army has said the operation is intended to “purge the south of terrorists and criminal groups” including rebels from Chad.
Haftar’s forces have accused Tubu of supporting the Chadian rebels.
Murzuk is a stronghold of the Tubus, many of whom are opposed to Haftar’s offensive, and lies in a region where tensions run high between them and Arab tribes, who have largely joined LNA ranks.
Kari’s murder also reflects the many divisions that have divided Libya since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi.
The Tripoli-based GNA is locked in a bitter and protracted power struggle with a parallel administration based in the country’s east and backed by Haftar’s LNA.


Syria Kurds urge world to take back foreign militants

Updated 57 min 17 sec ago
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Syria Kurds urge world to take back foreign militants

  • The Kurdish administration’s top foreign affairs official Abdel Karim Omar warned that its foreign captives still pose a threat
  • Many of the suspected militants’ countries of origin are reluctant to take them back due to potential security risks

OMAR OIL FIELD, Syria: Syria’s Kurds warned Sunday that the thousands of foreign militants they have detained in their fight against the Daesh group are a time-bomb the international community urgently needs to defuse.
Speaking a day after Kurdish-led forces announced the final demise of the militants’ physical “caliphate,” the Kurdish administration’s top foreign affairs official Abdel Karim Omar warned that its foreign captives still pose a threat.
“There are thousands of fighters, children and women and from 54 countries, not including Iraqis and Syrians, who are a serious burden and danger for us and for the international community,” Omar said.
“Numbers increased massively during the last 20 days of the Baghouz operation,” he said, referring to the village by the Euphrates where diehard militants made a bloody last stand.
The fate of foreign Daesh fighters has become a major issue as the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces closed in on the once-sprawling proto-state the militants declared in 2014.
After a months-long assault by the US-backed SDF to flush out the last Daesh strongholds in the Euphrates Valley, militants and their families gradually gathered in Baghouz as the last rump of the “caliphate” shrank around them.
While some managed to escape, many of the foreigners stayed behind, either surrendering to the SDF or fighting to the death.
According to the SDF, 66,000 people left the last Daesh pocket since January, including 5,000 militants and 24,000 of their relatives.
The assault was paused multiple times as the SDF opened humanitarian corridors for people evacuating the besieged enclave.
The droves of people scrambling out of Baghouz in recent weeks were screened by the SDF and dispatched to camps further north, where most are still held.
The de facto autonomous Kurdish administration is northeastern Syria has warned it does not have capacity to detain so many people, let alone put them on trial.
But many of the suspected militants’ countries of origin are reluctant to take them back due to potential security risks and a likely public backlash.
Some have even withdrawn citizenship from their nationals detained in Syria.
“There has to be coordination between us and the international community to address this danger,” Abdel Karim Omar said.
“There are thousands of children who have been raised according to IS ideology,” he added.
“If these children are not reeducated and reintegrated in their societies of origin, they are potential future terrorists.”